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South Crestone Lake Trail #860

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.3 (3)

This trail takes you along South Crestone Creek to high mountain forests, lush hillside meadows, and aspen groves.


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Map Key

4.4

Miles

7.1

KM

Point to Point

11,812' 3,600 m

High

8,950' 2,728 m

Low

2,864' 873 m

Up

6' 2 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Need to Know

Trail is shown one-way, see information in Description for round-trip stats.

Description

This trail takes you along South Crestone Creek to high mountain forests, lush hillside meadows, and aspen groves to South Crestone Lake. The hike to South Crestone Lake offers spectacular views into the San Luis Valley.

The Lake is situated just below Mt. Adams (13,931 ft). This hike is considered difficult, as it rises from 9,000' and ends at 11,900' but can be completed within a day. Bring gear for all different types of weather, as it can change quickly in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The trailhead is managed by the U.S. Forest Service-Rio Grande National Forest. For current conditions or other information regarding this trail, please contact the Rio Grande National Forest.

Information from the sign posted by the USFS at the trailhead:
Miles long: 11 miles r/t
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Hike Time: 10 hours r/t
Elevation Gain: 2,900 ft

Contacts

Shared By:

Morgan Vlasse

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 3 votes

#9

in Crestone

#24094

Overall
  3.3 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#9

in Crestone

#1,950

in Colorado

#24,094

Overall
21 Views Last Month
1,426 Since Jun 21, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

View of Kit Carson Peak and San Luis Valley.
Jun 18, 2019 near Crestone, CO
Looking back on the San Luis Valley after entering the meadow.
Jun 18, 2019 near Crestone, CO
Panorama of South Crestone Lake, still covered in ice. Great view of Mt Adams, Challenger Point, and Kit Carson Peak (from left to right).
Jun 18, 2019 near Crestone, CO
Great place for fall colors, only a half mile from parking lot!
Oct 4, 2018 near Crestone, CO
The first creek crossing. A little tricky, but the logs/branches people have placed stayed put in both directions.
Jun 18, 2019 near Crestone, CO
First view of a high peak when entering the valley.
Jun 18, 2019 near Crestone, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 5, 2020
David Hall
Jun 17, 2019
Morgan Vlasse
Hike time is round trip and includes a ~30 minute break at the lake. My hiking partner and I went pretty slow on the way up, with lots of breaks. 10.1mi — 6h 19m